One morning at school I was standing near my door greeting students as they walked into my room. I heard a loud chirping sound. One of my early students remarked that I had a cricket in the garbage can. “Oh,” I said, “grab it and we can feed it to Mr. M’s iguana.
“I’m not reaching into the garbage can for a cricket!” my student said disapprovingly. It was like I asked him to go garbage picking for dinner.
“Fine,” I sighed, “I’ll move the liner up high enough for you to grab it. Ok?”
“Ok,” he agreed and stood next to me watching the liner bottom slide up from the bottom. The chirping got louder.
When the liner bottom was about a foot from the bottom I said, “Ok, grab it… It’s under the brown paper towel…”
“Miss Kay,” I got from the kid, “I am not sticking my hand into that garbage can!”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Do I have to revoke your man card, dude?”
“Hrumph,” the student said.
“Watch,” I said bravely, “it’s only a stupid cricket…” Famous last words.
I reached into the trash can and the ‘paper towel’ moved. I saw the movement but it didn’t register with the higher part of my brain. I went to move the ‘paper towel’ to get to the ‘cricket’. The ‘paper towel’ came alive and latched on to my hand. A bit freaked out I quickly withdrew my hand and saw that a bat was attached to it. A BAT! I went into total freak out mode. I flung my hand wildly to rid it of the bat. It worked and the bat was in the garbage can.
My brain didn’t stop there. I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran out of my room like a freaking idiot. I ran past at least six kids in an effort to escape the bat. I didn’t care. They were high school students and could fend for themselves.
As I ran out of the room screaming like a nut, I managed to attract the attention of the students and teachers in the general area.
Mr. H. asked me, “What happened?”
Mr. E. said, “Is this for real or a joke?”
Mr. M. just asked, “Why are you screaming, now?”
I just stood there panting and trying to catch my breath. All three stared at me expecting an answer. So, I gave them one: “There was a BAT in my trashcan! A bat! It almost killed me! It grabbed my hand. I thought it was just a paper towel! But, it was a bat! A BAT! Oh, my god! I’ve got to get tested for rabies! I’m going to die, going to die!” I rambled on and on.
Mr. E. asked, “Where?”
“In the trashcan!” I yelled. “Get it out, out, out! Right now!!!”
Mr. E. walked into my room to examine the invader. “It’s a bat… in the trash can,” he yelled from the room.
“GET IT OUT!” I yelled back. My students, used to seeing me calm, collected, and generally calm all looked at me like I was a total nut.
“OK,” Mr. E. called and I heard rustling of the trash bag.
“Be careful!” I yelled, “He’s going to try to kill you!”
“I’ve got him in the bag…” Mr. E. joked as he walked out of my room with the bat wrapped up in the garbage bag.
“Oh, don’t kill him,” I pleaded. “Bats are good for the environment, just not indoors.”
“Fine,” Mr. E. said as he went to take the bat outside and release it. By this time, my entire first period class was standing out in the hall way waiting to get into my room.
“Is it safe?” a random student called from the back of the pack.
“I don’t know,” I shot back. “You go in and scope it out…”
“No, no, no,” a group of kids called. “You’re the teacher; that’s your job,” another one added.
“I am NOT going into that room until I am sure it is cleared of all bats…” I said stomping my foot.
Mr. H. finally gave in and went to check the room out for us. “All clear!” he called. I was forced to enter first and then my students all rushed in. I saw them checking their desks to ensure there wasn’t a hidden bat. I had to calm down and start the day. “So, that was fun,” I said as casually as possible. The entire class giggled at me. “Ok, let’s start the warm up,” I said turning to the board.
As I turned our head maintenance guy showed up, “You got bat?” he asked holding up a tennis racket. The entire class burst out laughing. So much for maintaining some semblance of order.